Discussion in 'General' started by Iantha_Branch, Sep 15, 2019.
Now we’re talk’n my kind of railroading!
I know what you're describing with the switch frogs. I've noticed it, but haven't had much issue with it to this point. I hadn't thought about about painting the track before ballasting. I like the way that turned out. Maybe one day if I settle on a track plan, I'll have to give that a try.
I designed the layout with 5 yard tracks, long enough to hold lengthy trains. I think the middle track holds a consist of 4 locos and 25ish cars.
I think my favorite part is I was able to incorporate some larger radius curves. The tightest radius is 26", and it goes all the way up to 35.5".
At this point, I still have room for another consist.
It's a lot easier to paint the track before ballast, I used rattle can black on mine because I'm modeling steam era and early diesel. After spraying wipe the track tops with a rag with alcohol, then weather the sides with rust color paint. A Masonite pad will polish the rails and remove any debris.
I just noticed looking at the picture of painted EZ track . When I cleaned the paint off the railheads with an old popsicle stick, the sides of the railheads got polished too. To me, this actually reduces the apparent height of the code 100 rail, helping its appearance. Keep that in mind as you progress on your trackwork.
Your name is Ethan? You’ve got more EZ track than I’ve ever seen in one place. There’s a lot of painting and ballasting to do but it will look good in the end. You are right, it really does hold together well, after all it’s intended to take a toy train beating. Much better for the rug under the Christmas tree than snap track ever was. I’ve never had derailments where EZ track sections join each other.
If you are only running diesels the raised EZ track frogs may not be an issue. I had to get them level before I could operate a 4-4-0, and even the bigger steam engines didn't like them that much.
Oh, about painting the EZ track. If you haven’t fastened it down, you can take out sections at a time, paint them and even ballast on the workbench (keep back from the exposed ends a hair) and reinstall when dry. That way you don’t leave the back side of the rail unpainted..... and doing it on a workbench is way, way better than bending over the layout..... and not getting the back painted. After you get them back down, you touch up the ballast at the bare mating edges.
Sorry to be so yakky about the track. But I’ve already made all the mistakes so I can tell you about them.
I appreciate all of the input you've given. I may try to paint and ballast a few sections and see how it holds up to being handled afterward.
The nice thing about this layout, is I designed it to be at desk height. I can roll around in an office chair to operate and work on stuff. It's been really nice not being on my feet to do anything.
I saw your rolling office chair and thought, there’s a guy like me. I have two of those plus a piano stool for any “wide” visitors. My layout is at a 36” height because it has to traverse in front of 5 windows mostly, but also because I used Lowe’s chrome wire storage tables for support.
My friend has a much larger layout than I, at the much touted 54” height. I have to say, after a 2 hr op there I’ve had it. He thoughtfully has put out some studio type wood stools which really helps.
Ethan, like your layout design and the size of it. That's a big train room.
When painting the sides of your track you only need to do what is visible from the front. The backside doesn't need to be painted, that cuts what is needed in half and will save time.
I'm like you about sitting in a chair, I use Cynthia's old wheelchair to do a lot of things on my layout.
The reason I say paint both sides is that in my case I anticipate eventually moving and relocating the layout, and if the layout back becomes the front, I would then have unpainted rail that can’t be painted because of the ballast. If the track is ever intended to be reinstalled in a different setting I recommend painting it all as a precaution. Also, sometimes I drop the camera on the back side of the track. I haven’t had unpainted rail show yet but it could.
If none of this applies, yes, painting the back of the track would be a waste of paint and time.
One thing I haven’t done is very lightly mist over the steam era track with a flat black spray bomb, as Joe said. Although, if you are on an oil burning division, you wouldn’t have coal dust.
Looks like a great home layout, ETHAN --- Let'em roll!
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